By Ezeocha Nzeh
Contrary to reports of a possible change of date for the Edo and Ondo states governorship elections the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC said it would stick to its timetable and schedule of activities regarding the elections in both states.
INEC National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education (VEP), Committee, Festus Okoye in a statement issued on Tuesday night said the commission had met earlier in the day and deliberated on a wide range of issues including the conduct of the Edo and Ondo governorship elections, as well as the other outstanding bye-elections in different parts of the country.
Okoye went further to state that the Commission deliberated extensively on a Policy Framework that will guide its operations, activities and engagements with critical stakeholders in view of the COVID-19 Pandemic and its impact on the electoral process in Nigeria.
“Based on this, the Commission will on Thursday 21st May 2020 (today), issue a Policy Framework for engagement with stakeholders, the conduct of the two ends of tenure governorship elections, outstanding bye-elections and future electoral activities.
“The Commission reiterated its commitment to conduct the Edo and Ondo governorship elections on 19th September and 10th October 2020 as contained in the Timetable and Schedule of Activities released on 6th Februay
“We reassure Nigerians of our resolve and determination to provide the requisite guidance, innovation and leadership in conducting elections in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission is committed to fulfilling its constitutional responsibility of conducting elections but without jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of citizens, stakeholders or its valued staff.
He noted that the Commission will accelerate consultations and engagements with political parties, civil society organizations, security agencies and health authorities as soon as its Policy Framework is finalized this week.